Should I keep going?

So HR said that my flexible working request is being processed without taking my RA condition into account.

Can they do this?

I have let them know that my change in health is the reason for this request.

They casually dropped that they had sought council and were told they could. As I was seeking to change my contractual commitments.

I said, that the request is based upon the fact that my health is not the same and I have been told to practice energy conservation so I don't over do it one day because I feel better and then have to pay for that the next day.

It feels as if they are being very difficult at every turn.

I have given different options and argued my case as the job I do do not necessitate that I am in their office. It is not a customer facing job nor do my colleagues believe it to be.

After a meeting where I more or less know that they are not going to grant my request I went home.

I had only been home for about an hour when I had a crushing sensation in my chest. Shortness of breath, started sweating and felt really poorly.

My husband called 111. They sent Ambulance that came and then I was sent to hospital for observation, X-ray and blood works.

I still feel a slight pressure on my chest two days later. I'm trying to take it easy and not stress.

But I think I can't handle this thing with work much more.

I feel like giving up and handing in my notice.

😖

11 Replies

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  • Hi. I think I can understand your reaction. You want to be fair to yourself but keep working and balance the two. Have I got that correct?

    You have two options - the current route that you are on which doesn't necessarily require medical evidence. As soon as you suggest that medical evidence is required your employer may decide that this is a capability issue and has the potential to get out of hand if you don't have a sympathetic and supportive employer.

    Unfortunately your employer doesn't have to agree the request though I would like to hope that they would support your request regardless. The general rule is that there are very few jobs that can't be done part time, and they are required to give you written reasons for rejecting you request or propose an alternative.

    Decide what you want to achieve and what flexibilities you can offer. People assume that because we have RA an employer has to be flexible - they don't but they have to have a good reason not to. However good employers will go out of their way.

    I would suggest following the flexible working route first - your employers policy should have an appeal process if you don't get the outcome you want?

    Sorry I can't offer more positive advice - I have RA and work in HR and see/feel both sides of the coin.

    Good luck.

  • Hi JoWall.

    Thank you for your honest and very insightful reply.

    I have put forth options other than my initial flexible working request in a meeting that at first was an official meeting but then on the day of the new was told it wasn't and my impartial person was not required.

    I was given 1 1/2 day to find a person to join me. ( it all "feels" very messy.)

    You are right. I would like to continue working but not to the extent I have been going. The company owes me 13 hrs for my over time since Jan.

    From oct to Jan it is around 24hrs.

    I will most likely never see these hours again as I was asked only to log them on my time sheet by my TL.

    So 37hrs puff gone.

    She declined them in our system and said it could be better managed just internally. 🤔

    I believed her.

    Any way...

    There seems to be al kinds of excuses as to why I shouldn't be approved for working part time from home.

    The mayor concern for the company seemed to be that it would open up for others to request this. I then put forth in a letter clearly stating that I was seeking the change on the basis of my futur health and that maybe a part time in the office or a job share would be a solution?

    Now when I had done this I was thinking of the company's best interest as much as my own. I got nothing back from HR and my manager other than... " well what is it you are asking of us?!"

    How can I make it clearer?

    If they aren't even interested in seeing that I'm putting forth options.

    I even tried to discuss resources with in the department and was more or less shot down.

    I even said that I would be willing to leave my position and transfer to a different department if there was a job for me that would allow the reduction in hours.

    This was half joked at by HR and my manager as they asked me where I thought that would be. Now I'm in no position to know where there is openings with in. But I know that there is a shortage of people staying with the company.

    I said " think about it and be honest. If the job I do can best be done with someone full time then, when they are going to recruit for a full time now do they not recruit for two?

    And let me change to a different department?"

    They sort of laughed nervously and said that I wouldn't like it in any other department.

    So I left the meeting feeling that there was no where for me and that they are only going to string me along so they can get cover in the department.

    This is were it comes in that I work because I want to not because we need me to.

    So why should I keep fighting?

    Should I just give in and hand in my notice?

    By the way Occupational health report was submitted today.

    It said for me not to increase my hours for the for see able future, at least not the next 4-6 weeks. Then said to have another assessment in 4 weeks time.

    I think that they will take that as a reason not to approve part time permanently.

    But will be able to give you more info after the 8th.

    Fingers crossed.

  • Sorry to hear about your work related issues. Are you in a union ? Or you could ring NRAS help line for information, I know how you feel because I was In a similar situation last year and had to walk away from my job because of lack of support.

    Take care.

    Trish and

  • RA is covered by the disiabilities discrimination act. I would give your employers a copy of this booklet (and read it yourself).

    nras.org.uk/publications/wh...

    Also this one might be useful.

    nras.org.uk/publications/i-...

    Becky

  • So sorry to hear this. Bpeal1 is right - the booklet outlines really good advice. What you are asking for is a 'reasonable adjustment' which is something employers should implement by law (the equality act). Reasonable adjustments are about removing our barriers to work because we have RA - it is not preferential treatment and comparisons to others without RA who may request something similar should not be made. There are lots of free advice services plus the NRAS helpline. Hope you can have a bit of a break over the weekend x

  • Hi Spring 2017. That sounds an awful situation to be in, and the stress will be counterproductive for you. You absolutely have rights, as above, under the disability discrimination act. What type of sector are you in? If it is supported by a union, then it might be a good idea to join if you aren't in one already. It would be their role to help you know your rights and represent you with your employer if required. Very best of luck.

  • Hi.

    I reduced my hours last year on medical grounds and it certainly wasn't an easy process but I eventually got it sorted.

    My problem was one manager in particular who made things very difficult. I had my HR department and other managers in favour of my request yet after applying in June last year - it took until October before I actually started it!! I did however get my Union rep involved and an Occupational health Doctor who thankfully emphasised the Equality Act and that the office should be making this reasonable request.

    Keep persevering albeit I can totally appreciate how stressful it can be.

    I am a great believer that some workplaces are needing educated on illness and responsibilities.

    An employer doesn't have to accept a request however if you are covered under the Equality Act, they would be very foolish to dismiss the request without detailed reasons.

    I wish you good luck x

  • Thank you for taking the time to write.

    I appreciate everyone's response and it gives me another view besides my own.

    🌹

  • I know its hard and i have know way of knowing what your going through . But don't give up! Go to citizens advice and see if they can advise you they are really good and know all the rules . Just take one day at a time you will get there .

  • It's worth asking to see an occupational health consultant. The one my work sent me to has been very good. Totally on my side and reminding my employers that it is covered under the disability act

  • Saw the OHT report. He made a comment about not increasing hrs for at least 4-6 weeks, me being emotional and that I should go to GP and get signed off work if symptoms of my condition doesn't improve or I could need to drop my days even more.

    He didn't mention the disability act but said reduced working and if possible work from home, as long as it is feasible subject to business and operational needs.

    I was told that they didn't want to go down the route of working from home because that would open up the door for others within the department to request this. So they pretty much said no then and there last week.

    I now have to wait for the official meeting on Thursday.

    I won't hold my breath though. As no changes have been implemented at work. My desk is still a sit I front of desk, there is absolutely no change in anyway done. On the contrary I now feel like I'm the odd ball.

    So much went on in last weeks meeting that it is taking its time to sink in.

    But after today when the sense of I can't cope anymore hit me. I went totally into disengage mode. Did my boys and left when my half day was done.

    The fact that they are separating my RA diagnosis from my flexible working request had a friend that works in HR for a global company shake her head and say if any HR person in her team had acted in the manner I described then she would have had them fired.

    It is not worth for me to end up so unhappy and try to hold on to this job with an employer that has shown their true colors.

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